The timing was perfect: just as the new Trump Administration is preparing to take over in the US, Beijing has published a White Paper entitled ‘China’s Policies on Asia–Pacific Security Cooperation’. It claims to outline China’s contributions to Asia–Pacific regional security. But it fails to diminish concerns over its regional ambitions.
The US Department of Defense has given the go-ahead to the next stage in its Columbia-class submarine programme, signalling continuity in what is one of the US military’s most expensive procurement projects.
China’s seizure last week of a US naval drone in international waters has drawn attention to China's assertive approach throughout South East Asia. And that affects both big countries and small countries, such as Singapore.
On 11 January, Japan’s parliament enacted a law to resume refueling operations in support of foreign vessels participating in anti-terrorism operations near Afghanistan. To some, the decision represents a long-term shift away from Japan’s pacifist foreign policy.